From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Growing Up Fast

All my children


A few days ago, a young man came through my checkout line at work. As I began ringing up his purchases, I realized I knew him. I hadn't seen Adam (not his real name) for at least five years. He was my daughter's schoolmate, a good student and an athlete.

I visited with him for a few minutes. He was wearing the uniform of a plant in Hopkinsville's industrial park. "You're at -----," I commented. "Yes, and I'm glad to be working!" he exclaimed. The fervor in his voice suggested a personal experience with unemployment.

Adam did not finish high school. He and his girlfriend married when they learned that she was pregnant. Adam dropped out of school and got a job. I used to see him pumping gas at one of the full-service stations in Hopkinsville.

Not long after their baby was born, his wife became pregnant again. I last saw his children when they were chubby toddlers. I'm sure they are in school by now.

Adam is probably 25 years old. His eyes are clear and honest, and he has a smile in his voice as he speaks of his family. I'm proud of him for "manning up" to his responsibilities.

I hope his job stays stable. I hope he's had a chance to get his G.E.D. I hope he can learn some skills on the job that will improve his qualifications. He's had a rough start, but he has ability and potential and many years of life ahead of him.

Thoughts cannot always be spoken. "Have a good Christmas, Adam," I said. "It's great to see you! Take care of yourself."

"I will," he promised.

2 comments:

Stitchy Mc Floss said...

Your blog is such a joy to read. I love the local stories with all the history. The story today was really touching. Merry Christmas to you and your family..and everyone who reads this, too. :)

Genevieve said...

Merry Christmas to you and yours, Stitchy, and thanks for being a long-time reader of this ramble.

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.